“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” [2peter.3v9]
When my son was born three years ago I was overwhelmed with a huge sense of responsibility. Sure, my wife and I were now in charge of meeting the most basic needs of a helpless human being…but it was another responsibility that pressed on my heart.
I had referred to God as Father my entire life and when Marcus was born I had a sudden realization that I was now a reflection of this Father in heaven. I could destroy or enhance my sons view of God as Father. That’s a lot of responsibility.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years…the week of Thanksgiving 2011. Marcus comes down with some nasty, snotty, sneezy ear infection. The poor kid couldn’t sleep more than 30 minutes at a time before he would wake up coughing and saying the famous line that I won’t soon forget, “Dadda I have snot.”
For 5 nights straight I slept on the floor by his bed and woke up every time he moved. I would be lying if I said I was perfect. There were several times when I grew tired of wiping snotty noses. At 3AM I found it difficult not to just say to my son, “GO TO SLEEP!” It was tough to not lose my cool and grow impatient with my son…not his sickness…but him…as if he could somehow control his condition.
One night…sometime when I should have been asleep…I was laying on my back, exhausted, staring in the darkness and had this thought…
This is an exact reflection of God’s patience with my sickness.
I mean really…what if I told my son…You need to get better and then I’ll be with you? You would immediately report me to DSS and tag me as a terrible father.
Instead, Peter paints a picture of a patient Father. One that would sleep on the floor beside our bed in the midst of our sickness. One that would wipe our noses and hold us in the middle of the night so we could get some rest. A Father that is not quick to write our sick selves off but a Father that is patient with us…with us…in our sickest moments…our sickness that we inherited and even then sickness we create.
That week that Marcus was sick I had so much snot on me. He sneezed on me. Coughed on me. I even ended up sick myself. Each night I would pray over my son…praying that he would get better…that he would find rest that night. I desperately wanted him to feel better.
I do believe this is a picture of our God. One that takes our sickness upon himself. Wanting desperately for us…for you…to find rest, to find health, to find life.
Why is it that we have such a hard time seeing God in this way?
I pray that by my example, Marcus will know God in this way.